Arguing on the Internet

Posted 2012-12-27
Category CodeIgniter

I have referenced Shawn McCool's blog a few times, "Why CodeIgniter is Dead" and people are wondering why I argued so hard against it back in May but then gave CodeIgniter such a hard time in my last article. For the record I'm not team CodeIgniter or team Laravel, I'm a PHP user who has some opinions, and some of those opinions change over time - which is fair enough. My opinions aside, his original article was wrong on a few points, so let's discuss those.

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5 Things CodeIgniter Cannot Do (without a rewrite)

CodeIgniter was build a long time ago and since its inception it has maintained the same API, without making sizable breaking changes through 3 major versions. Sadly, the API is at a point where it needs to be rewritten to support several fundamental features, which most other frameworks support. This is a walk through those features with a little insight as to what why and how from an ex core contributor.

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Why some people hate PHP

Posted 2012-12-02
Category PHP
I answered a question on Quora a while ago, which was long enough to deserve it's own blog post. Basically I explain some of the reasons people hate on PHP so hard, and while some of them are founded there are plenty of unfounded reasons that people whine about that either don't matter - or are being worked on for future versions.

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Distributed Architecture Faking with Vagrant

Posted 2012-12-02
Category DevOps
Working for Kapture I've been charged with something I've never really had to do before: Managing a big-ass architecture of different servers that all handle different tasks. Theoretically I've always known how it works, and I've worked in projects that have had these systems, but I've never been put in charge of how that whole situation works out. So this little web developer had to do a lot of learning.
 

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Puppet or Chef?

Posted 2012-10-28
Category DevOps
Back in the UK at PHPNE this May I saw an awesome talk from Ian Chilton, who explained very simply why using Vagrant for your development environments was a good idea. He mentioned briefly server provisioning but didn't get fully into it, and suggested we go out and play with Puppet and Chef to see which fit our needs. 

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Bye Bye PHP 5.2

The reason these applications do well is because PHP hosting has been widely available for over a decade. Because PHP is on 90% of hosting setups from dedicated systems to cheap $4 a month deals, application developers have targeted PHP to help them reach their highest audience. Sadly, PHP hosts have always been slow to upgrade, but now it seems like the vast majority have finally made PHP 5.3 a viable option not just for in-house teams but for those building distributable applications too. Finally bidding farewell to PHP 5.2 feels good!

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Cloud Hosting for PHP: The Eternal Pipe Dream

This time last year I was extremely excited about the future of Heroku-style PHP hosting services (or PaaS), which would allow developers to quickly and easily set up small hosting environmemnts that grow and scale horizontally and vertically to allow ridiculous levels of traffic. I was so excited I posted an article saying 2012 would be the year for PHP to move to the cloud. This is an account of why after a year it still sucks.

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Package Watch: Image Management

Posted 2012-09-19
Category PHP
For years I was locked into using the same frameworks for everything, mainly because my clients were hiring me specifically to use CodeIgniter based on my reputation within the community.  Now that is not the case and I can build things however I damn well like, so I am doing it properly and that is using Composer. I tweeted about some useful libraries I found, so here is what they are with an explanation of the approach and why I used it.

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No-DB Content Management Systems

Posted 2012-09-18
If you're following many designers on Twitter then you'll notice that they've just started noticing flat-file (or "No-DB") content management systems. The basic idea is you swap out the database and complicated admin panels for a simple file and folder structure and use Markdown files instead of clunky WYSIWYG boxes to manage your content. These have some pros and cons, but can definitely be an awesome tool to have in your arsenal.

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Moving On

My entire career seems to have come from being a CodeIgniter developer, and a vocal one at that. Since then I have risen up through the ranks of CodeIgniter developers to be active in maintaining it, but with my new job I just don't need to be on the team anymore. PHP 5.2 is finally dead to me, and as such I do not need to be part of a framework which focuses of PHP 5.2 compatability! It's not just CodeIgniter though, I am dropping as many of my responsibilities as I can to make way for an exciting [secret] new job.

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